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September 24, 2018

Bungoma ghost workers eating Sh6 million a year

Bungoma agriculture director Onesmas Makhanu, agriculture executive Mathews Makanda and DG Charles Ngome during its launch at Mabanga FTC on Monday/BRIAN OJAMAA
Bungoma agriculture director Onesmas Makhanu, agriculture executive Mathews Makanda and DG Charles Ngome during its launch at Mabanga FTC on Monday/BRIAN OJAMAA

Bungoma is losing close to Sh6 million every year to ghost workers in the department of agriculture, an audit shows.

The audit which was ordered by Governor Wycliffe Wangamati sought to unearth challenges faced by workers and recommend ways of revamping agriculture in the county.

The report found that 12 ghost workers were on the payroll of the department. Most of them were aged between 55 and and 60.

The report was launched on Monday at Mabanga Farmers Training Centre by Deputy Governor Charles Ngome and agriculture executive Mathews Makanda.

The audit team, chaired by Barasa Nyukuri, recommended the hiring of young and vibrant staff in readiness for the replacement of the aging staff.

Most department workers will retire in the next five years, the report says. "The gap left will be hard to fill if new staff are not hired early enough," the report says.

The audit found that most workers have worked for a long time without being promoted, a fact the team attributed to low morale and poor output.

Ngoma said they will conduct similar audits in other departments to get rid of ghost workers.

He promised the county will implement all the recommendations of the report.

"We will also find out how the ghost workers sneaked into our payroll. We'll handle those who put them in the payroll in a manner that I do not want to reveal now," Ngome said.

Ngome said they will ensure the ghost workers were exorcised from the department.

"We know that our county cannot be transformed without good agriculture. We might built roads and construct nice stadiums but Bungoma is known as the food basket of the country," he said.

Nyukuri said the ghost workers should be grilled and the money paid to them recovered.

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